4Performance and Flow Rituals

Performance and flow rituals help people to deal with high-stakes work situations, cope with anxiety, and focus on getting to their goals. They can bring a sense of control in times of uncertainty—like during a big meeting, in the middle of a pitch or a trial, or when overwhelmed with too many deadlines.

Rituals' use of repetition and physical action help develop a sense of flow and confidence. Past research (see Chapter 1) shows that performing rituals helps people to regulate their emotions, decrease anxiety, and get into a flow state. Following the pattern of a ritual can also help people to block distractions, and set rules for themselves about how to work better.

When Would You Use a Performance Ritual?

Drawing of the face of a smiling man.


+ Make you more focused

+ Eliminate distractions for deep work

+ Manage your emotions in a high stakes situation

+ Create a sense of control and boost confidence

Drawing of a group of six people, three males and three females.


+ Rescue the team from distractions

+ Encourage forward motion with your projects

+ Recognize the team's purpose before a big event

Drawing of the façade of a multistoried building, with a tree at each side.


+ Remove the distractions from the team calendar

+ Keep and maintain meaning purpose in your professional ...

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